19 years later, mother of murder victim eager for justice - WSMV News 4

19 years later, mother of murder victim eager for justice

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Patrick Streater (Source: Metro Nashville Police Department) Patrick Streater (Source: Metro Nashville Police Department)

The man accused of fatally stabbing two McGavock High School students at a tanning salon nearly two decades ago is back in Nashville to face murder charges.

Tiffany Campbell and Melissa Chilton, both 18, were found stabbed more than a dozen times at an exotic tanning salon more than 19 years ago.

“We have got three or four suspects that we’re looking at,” Det. Grady Eleam told Channel 4 in 1996. “Most of them are boyfriends of these girls. That’s what we’re concentrating on now.”

But it took another 17 years for Metro police to identity which boyfriend they believed was responsible.

Patrick Streater was serving a 16-year sentence in California for a string of home invasions. He was indicted on two charges of first-degree murder in 2013 in connection with the murders.

It was a moment Gail Chilton, Melissa Chilton’s mother, had been waiting on for what seemed like forever.

“Last year, it hit me that she had been gone as long as she had lived,” Gail Chilton said. “That’s when it hit me. And I really miss her.”

With another two years left on Streater’s sentence in California, the justice Gail Chilton desperately wanted would have to wait.

Wednesday night, a former Metro detective called Gail Chilton and said Streater was back in Nashville and locked up in the Davidson County Jail.

“I like the fact that he’s here in Nashville,” Gail Chilton said. “He’s locked up and he’s going to stay here.”

Gail Chilton said even in jail, Streater has a Facebook page with an assumed name. He has been trying to find former friends and classmates, saying “it’s extremely important.”

Gail Chilton said she only has one question for Streater.

“I want to see him. I want to look him in the eye and I want to know why,” she said. “He didn’t even know Melissa. Why? What made him so evil at such a young age? They were teenagers. How can you do that at 19?”

Police would not say what eventually led them to Streater. It’s possible the DNA sample he would have been forced to submit during his incarceration in California was a match to some of the evidence found at the crime scene in Nashville.

No court date has been set, but Streater is expected to be arraigned sometime next week.

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